This is a community announcement from the Community Arts Partnership. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit news releases, email

ITHACA, N.Y. –– The Community Arts Partnership is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Tompkins County Poet Laureate.

The position of Tompkins County Poet Laureate was established by the Tompkins County Legislature in 2001 to honor local outstanding poets, integrate poetry into the community, enrich the education of our young people, and enhance the county’s position as a cultural center.  Since its establishment, the Community Arts Partnership (CAP) has administered the selection and announcement of the Tompkins County Poet Laureate.

Current Poet Laureate Melissa Tuckey is completing her two-year term at the end of 2020.  Says Tuckey, “Serving as Poet Laureate is a great way to connect with our community in support of poetry.”  Adds Zee Zahava, 2017-2018 Poet Laureate, “It was an incredible honor for me to serve as the Poet Laureate when I did. It brought me into contact with so many new people, helped me to focus my own writing and my outreach (through workshops and readings) and was actually a beautiful framework for my life. Anyone who is chosen to serve will be enriched by the experience!”

CAP Executive Director Megan Barber is looking forward to receiving nominations for a wide variety of local community-minded poets eager to share the power of poetry with people across the county.  Says Barber, “We are seeking poets with a substantial body of work that’s been published (digitally or print) or performed; who are eager and willing to take on the duties of Poet Laureate; and whose work helps people make collective meaning and touches both the ‘heart space’ and the ‘head space’.”

Anyone can nominate a poet, and poets interested in being considered for the position may self-nominate.  Full guidelines including poet laureate duties, selection criteria, and nomination process can be found online here.

The Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County (CAP) provides grants, services, and programs to artists and audiences.  CAP connects artists and audiences through the Greater Ithaca Art Trail, Ithaca Artist Market, Spring Writes Literary Festival, and the CAP ArtSpace Gallery.  CAP provides grants, a professional development workshop series, and other resources for artists.  For more information on the Community Arts Partnership and its programs and services, visit

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